6 Things Potential Buyers Don’t Want to See in Your Home

March 3, 2023


A woman in a mustard-colored suit showing potential buyers a home.

Selling a home can be a daunting and complicated process, and it’s understandable to feel perplexed by it. However, with the right knowledge and preparation, you can make it a smoother and more enjoyable experience. One of the most important tips is knowing the things potential buyers don’t want to see in your home. By addressing these issues ahead of time, you can avoid lowering the perceived value of your property. This article will delve into six vital factors that could make or break a sale, ranging from small details to significant issues. Get ready to learn how not to make mistakes when presenting your home to potential buyers!

1. Dirty or Unkempt Areas

One of the biggest turn-offs for potential home buyers is walking into a dirty or unkempt home. Furthermore, it’s important to note that first impressions matter. Therefore, a messy home can instantly send the wrong message to buyers. And, whether you’re home staging or not, having a clean space is vital to showcasing your home in the best possible light.

The most important areas to clean and maintain include the kitchen, bathrooms, and living areas. These are the spaces that potential buyers are likely to spend the most time in, so it’s crucial to keep them looking their best. For example, ensure the kitchen counters are wiped down, and the sink and stove are clean. Keep the toilet, sink, and shower/tub clean and free of any mildew or soap residue in the bathroom. To keep your home looking its best during showings, consider creating a cleaning schedule that includes all the essential areas. And if you feel there’s too much to clean and so little time, consider enlisting the help of a professional cleaning service.

A person wiping a round mirror with a white duster on a wooden stick.

Make sure your home is as spotless as possible before inviting potential buyers.

2. Clutter and Personal Items

When selling a home, it’s crucial to make potential buyers feel like they can envision themselves living in the space. Unfortunately, clutter and personal items can get in the way of that vision. In order to create a more neutral and spacious environment, it’s essential to remove personal items and clear away any clutter that could be taking up valuable space. 

We understand decluttering and depersonalizing can be challenging, especially if you’ve lived in the home for a long time. However, it’s an essential step in the selling process. One tip for decluttering is to get rid of the unnecessary by renting a storage unit to store items that take up too much space temporarily. Then you may start putting away personal items, like photos and mementos. By removing any items that you feel are too personal or unnecessary, you’ll be sure to impress potential buyers and allow them to envision their lives in your home.

3. Remnants of Pets

Pets can be like family members to us, but when it comes to selling a home, it’s important to remember that not everyone shares the same love for them. Potential buyers may have allergies or prefer not to have pets in their new home. As such, it’s essential to minimize the presence of pets during showings. This means removing all pet-related items, such as food and water bowls, litter boxes, and toys since these are just some things potential buyers don’t want to see.

Furthermore, to truly ensure your home is free of pet remnants, you should deep clean carpets, floors, and furniture. This will help remove any pet hair, dander, and odors accumulated over time. In addition, it’s a good idea to repair any damage caused by pets, such as scratches on floors or walls. After all, you want to ensure the house is as appealing to potential buyers as possible.

A dog on a sofa.

Although your pets may be cute, there should be no remnants of them in your home when presenting them to potential buyers.

4. Over-Personalized Décor

When prepping your home for sale, as previously mentioned, it’s crucial to create an appealing and neutral atmosphere that resonates with a wide range of potential buyers. Overly personalized decor can make this incredibly difficult, furthermore hindering your chances of a successful sale.

Some examples of decor items that you may need to remove or change include brightly colored walls, bold wallpapers, and over-the-top decor pieces. However, you don’t need to remove all of your decor – a few neutral pieces can help to create a cozy and welcoming environment without taking away from the potential buyer’s ability to visualize themselves living in the space. Pick and choose what someone with different eyes than yours would enjoy in space and try and replicate that.

5. Outdated or Poorly Maintained Features

Outdated or poorly maintained features can significantly lower the value of a home, making it less appealing to potential buyers. For example, you may need to update or repair old appliances, leaky faucets, outdated light fixtures, and damaged flooring.

Making necessary repairs or upgrades can greatly improve the appeal of a home and increase its value. Consider fixing whatever you feel is necessary and would take away from the overall appeal of your home. Furthermore, consider investing in energy-efficient upgrades, such as new windows or insulation, to make the home more attractive to buyers. While it may require some investment upfront, upgrading or repairing outdated features can ultimately pay off by making the home more marketable and increasing its overall value. Take the time to identify areas that may need attention and make the necessary improvements to make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

A man changing a light fixture with a bottom-up view of him doing so.

There are many things potential buyers don’t want to see, however, a home that is not maintained and updated to fit with the current times is a huge red flag.

6. Unfinished Projects

Unfinished projects can give potential buyers the impression that a home has been neglected or poorly maintained. While it’s understandable that some tasks may have been left for later, it’s important to complete necessary unfinished projects.

Maybe now is the time to finish the paint job you’ve started before or finally replace damaged sockets. Completing these projects can go a long way in making a home feel more move-in-ready and appealing to potential buyers. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of projects that need to be completed, start by making a list and prioritizing the most pressing items. And consider hiring a professional to help with more complex repairs or projects. Always keep in mind that taking the time to complete these necessary tasks can ultimately lead to a faster sale and a better selling price for your home.


In conclusion, things potential buyers don’t want to see are the same things they wouldn’t want to see in a potential home. Remember to focus on creating a neutral and inviting atmosphere. Additionally, work on making necessary repairs or upgrades and removing any unnecessary clutter or personal decor. By addressing these issues, you can increase your chances of selling quickly and for a better price. However, we understand selling your home can be a daunting task. But taking the time to make it more marketable can make a big difference. Best of luck with your home sale.